Name: Tina M. Torrey
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Occupation: Legal Assistant at a regulatory law firm
Currently rides: 2012 Softail Deluxe (a/k/a “Stella”)
When did you start riding and what got you involved in motorcycles?
In 2008, I learned that life is too short and I needed to start doing the things that I wanted to do. I also realized that I didn’t want to have any regrets in my life. I was 42 and that summer both my husband (49) and dad (69) were diagnosed with cancer and I lost my Dad in September and husband in October. Losing both at the same time made me realize that life is just too short and I needed to change my mindset on a lot of things.
One year later, I met my sexy hot husband, Schon Torrey, who has ridden motorcycles since he was a kid. In January 2010, we flew to Maui on vacation and rented a Harley cruiser for a day; that was all it took – I felt comfortable riding as passenger with him and yes, I was hooked from that day forward!
How has riding motorcycles impacted your life? Riding has impacted my life in a tremendous way with building my self-esteem and self-confidence to know that if you put your mind to learning something and doing it, you can do it; all by yourself. I am fairly shy and riding seems to give a woman the boost of self-confidence we need. I have three children (22, 21, and 18) and they all know how much fun I am having riding and how much joy it brings me. Riding has impacted my life in other ways as well with meeting new found, lifelong friends.
What was or has been the most challenging or difficult thing to overcome in the mechanics of riding? Riding on wet roads and through corners were and are the most challenging for me. I take them slow and easy and roll through them.
What do you like most about your model motorcycle? There are a lot of ruts in our Alaska highways due to studded tires so some of our roads are less than ideal, but with my Softail Deluxe rides, she just glides over the bumps and handles them with so much ease. I’m so happy that I upgraded to the Softail Deluxe from the 883 XL Sportster. And of course, I like how she looks – simply stated, she looks classy; vivid black with whitewall tires, and yes lots of shiny chrome. A woman can never have too many shiny things, right?
What modifications have you made? All of the H-D Diamond Ice collection add-ons; Vance & Hines exhaust tips; flush-mount gas cap and gauges; chrome swingarm covers; chrome axle covers; chrome inner and outer primary covers; chrome gear-linkage cover; chrome rocker covers; Arlen Ness diamond chrome grips & pegs; chrome sprocket cover; and chrome handlebar control covers, like I said, lots of bling. My husband also installed Mutazu hard saddlebags on it. They are only 6” wide and they added some much-needed storage (like my office shoes/heels and purse, etc.), and the hard saddlebags also give the rear end a sexy small-butt look.
When you’re not riding motorcycles what are you other interest? We hang out at Reilly’s Irish Pub (formerly Cheechakos) where we have met a bunch of fantastic people. We also like to hang out at a place called the Hideaway with some newfound biker friends. We also have a cabin North of Anchorage about 200 miles at Trapper Creek which is accessible only by 4-wheelers and snow machines so we like to be up there when not riding our Harleys. We will also be grandparents in October so I’m fairly certain our new granddaughter will consume some of our time when not riding.
What advice do you have for other women riders? Don’t be shy. If you are interested in riding, take a beginner-riding class and test it out first. Once you try it, I’m sure you’ll be hooked. The more you ride, the more comfortable you will get with your bike, and the more comfortable you get with your bike, the more confidence you will have in yourself. Just remember, it’s not about the look, it’s about how you feel when you are riding. Independent.
What aspect of riding would you like to improve on? Emphasis on driver/rider awareness on the roads. I feel that more signs “WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES” are needed along the roads, as well as more advertising on tv and radio during the spring/summer/fall months.
How tall are you? 5’3”
What is the seat height of your bike? 24.5” I chose not to put the Super Reduced Reach Seat on it and instead I bought thick heel inserts for my HD boots. They work perfect and when I am on my bike I am flat footed on it while sitting, and I have the ability to pull/push to park while on it. My first bike, the 883 XL Sportster, fit perfect but I did add the Reduced Reach seat on it.
What is your weather like year round? Short summers, short spring/fall, and long winters. We generally can start riding the middle or end of April through the middle/end of October.
How is riding therapy for you? Riding is therapy to me because once I get on my bike and start riding, I leave all my worries behind me. I get to set everything aside while riding and just have fun. Whether it’s a 20-minute ride or a full day of riding, it leaves me feeling so much more refreshed and regenerated.
I agree with you Tina, riding is such a great way to recharge and refuel ourselves. When you mention how riding has helped you increase your self-confidence, I cheer you on and say “let the good times roll!”
Live life to the fullest! Get out and ride!